Informing a national agenda by and for LGBTQ & Gender Non-Conforming Youth

“What’s Your Issue?” Project Fact Sheet

“What’s Your Issue?” is a national Participatory Action Research (PAR) initiative of the Public
Science Project, designed by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) andGender Non-Conforming (GNC) youth to document their dreams, desires, and priorities.

Organized around the belief that LGBTQ and GNC youth have the right to research the
conditions of their own lives and set a self-determined agenda, “What’s Your Issue?” brings together LGBTQ and GNC youth — along with adults, academics, artists, and organizers — as co-researchers to document the key issues facing LGBTQ and GNC youth, from the ground up.

Through a national survey and 10 local youth participatory action research projects, the study will highlight the vibrant and creative lives of LGBTQ and GNC youth, as well as the intersectional ways racism, sexism, homophobia, cisgenderism, ableism, and capitalism shape LGBTQ and GNC youth experiences.

“What’s Your Issue?” features three major elements:

  • A national survey of LGBTQ & GNC youth created by LGBTQ and GNC youth, adults, and allies that examines the experiences, needs, dreams, and desires of LGBTQ and GNC youth, ages 14-24, with an emphasis on those who are poor, persons of color, disabled, immigrant, undocumented, and/or precariously housed. The survey will be conducted through early 2016 and findings to the public are expected in Fall 2016.
  • Local Youth Community Research Projects in 10 diverse communities across the United States that address policy issues relevant to local LGBTQ & GNC youth relations with aggressive policing, education, housing, homelessness, foster care, health care, and immigration. The communities include New York City, Austin, Texas; San Francisco, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Tucson, Arizona; Providence, Rhode Island; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; and Omaha, Nebraska.
  • An LGTBQ Youth Agenda for Change rooted in the experiences/struggles/wisdom of LGBTQ and GNC youth, as informed by the survey and the local PAR projects that address the human rights struggles of LGBTQ and GNC youth at local and national levels.

With funding from the Tides foundation, “What’s Your Issue?” will generate local and national data by LGBTQ and GNC youth for advocacy in policy and organizing campaigns; support programming for these youth; and create an opening for a youth-driven, intersectional national conversation about the priorities, needs, and desires of LGBTQ and GNC youth. The thousands of youth that participate in the “What’s Your Issue?” survey will be armed with with new knowledge that can inform a social movement of youth, researchers, policy makers, and artists who insist that the human rights of LGBTQ and GNC youth be recognized and reflected in laws and policies that impact their daily lives.

A multi-generational National Advisory Board comprised of LGBTQ and GNC youth and adults from policy, research, advocacy, the arts, and the Public Science Project will advise the two- year project.

“What’s Your Issue?” is a research initiative of the Public Science Project (PSP) based at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. For nearly 20 years we have collaborated with communities to design and implement large-scale surveys and local participatory projects that investigate, speak back to, and re-imagine structural injustice. We are dedicated to conducting research for a just world. For more information visit

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